Draw Near to Me!

April 17, 2015

James 4:7-9
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Draw Near to Me!

If there is one theme I hear in what God is speaking in this hour it is, “Draw near to Me!” The greatest asset that any of us can have in their lives is a close and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If we know Him intimately and are in communication with Him consistently then we know that we are in touch with the resources to meet every need and challenge that life might bring. Many of us for so long have become intoxicated and drunk in the well being that we have had all around us. We, especially Americans, enjoy and have so much. We, as a whole, don’t wake up every morning wondering what we are going to eat, where we are going to find shelter, how we are going to provide for our families, how we are going to get to our job and how we are going to survive. We may not be rich in the sense of having great amounts of money, but by and large our needs are met and we enjoy many luxuries in addition to our basic needs. As whole, we probably have and enjoy more than about 80 or 90 per cent of the world’s population. We have been very blessed. There is nothing wrong with being blessed, but one of the snares that follows blessings is that we can become complacent in our faith and trust in God. We begin to look at all that we have and possess as the results of our own talents and resources. Because we have need of little, we often have little need for God.
The Lord is sounding a trumpet in Zion and He is sounding an alarm to awaken us out of our complacency and calling us to return to Him. The first order of returning to God is in the area of submission. “Submit yourselves then to God”.
Jesus tells it to us this way in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” The presence of the Godhead abides upon the one who is willing to submit in obedience to God and His Word. Develop an ear that hears the still small voice of the Holy Spirit and then be quick to obey it.
Secondly, He says resist the devil and he will flee from you. Many of us exercise very little resistance. We willing take in whatever is put in front of us. We exercise very little discipline of our flesh rather it is what we take in mentally, visually, audibly or physically. There is very little difference between most of us and the world at large. God is awakening us to our state of being, not to condemn us but to prepare us. If we men were suddenly taken out of our present lifestyle and placed on the front lines of battle, how do you think we would fair? The enemy would cut through us like butter and in effect that is what he is doing now, because we have become fat and lazy through our life styles. What we are not seeing is the spiritual battle that is raging before us like an ominous thundercloud.
God is saying to us, ‘take stock of your condition and where you are physically, mentally and spiritually.’ He is saying, if you will begin right now coming near to me, I will meet you and come near to you. Start by washing your hands of the sin and filth of this world that you have allowed to come into you. Cease from being double-minded, spiritually minded one time and fleshly minded the next. We are like a Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde. Depending upon the place and the company we are in we are either spiritual or fleshly. We must be of a single mind at all times and that mind has to coincide with the mind of Christ. We all need to come to a true state of repentance where we honestly recognize and acknowledge the spiritual state we are in and then truly repent of it with true weeping and mourning. If we humble ourselves before the Lord and fear Him, He will lift us up. He will ready us for the days to come and preserve us in the darkest hour. Only hear His exhortation, “Draw near to me!”
There is only One that can preserve us when the world is overtaken in calamity. Your wealth, your reputation and position, your influence and all of your possessions can be gone tomorrow. They are temporal. You only have one sure foundation and cornerstone that cannot be moved and His name is Jesus Christ. Draw near to Him with all of your heart, your soul, your mind and strength. “

Blessings,
#kent

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In Our Darkest Hour

January 16, 2015

Acts 16:16-29
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

In Our Darkest Hour

As we endeavor to walk the walk of faith we come to experience and realize that God doesn’t just rescue us out of every bad circumstance and trial. The experience Paul and Silas have here is a case and point. God had something more far reaching than an immediate rescue or even the avoidance of a very unpleasant experience for His servants. Like them, there are times when our reasoning might be “God, I am doing your will and I am in your service, why are you allowing these things to happen to me? Why didn’t you come through when I called upon You?”
Remember the words of Jesus in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” If Jesus, the Son of God, had to endure the cross, despising the shame, then know that there can and will be dark and difficult times when we follow in His footsteps. The question then isn’t really are we going to experience trials and tribulations, those are almost a given. The question is how do we respond when we are in the midst of these dark times? Will we blame God for failing us? Will we give up and forsake the faith or will we do what Paul and Silas did in there greatest and darkest hour of despair. They were praying, praising and singing hymns unto the Lord. If you want to talk about a time when they might have had zero incentive to praise God this could have been it. They have been wrongfully accused, convicted, beaten within an inch of their lives, thrown into the inner, darkest dungeon and put into chains. Everything in the natural declared that they were defeated and God hadn’t saved them. Just stick a fork in them cause they are done.
These are men that no longer walk by their feelings and emotions. These are men that have entrusted themselves into the hands of God whether for life or for death. Their faith and commitment have superseded their circumstances. This is where we have to be in our walk and in our faith in this hour. In our darkest hour we cannot be murmuring and complaining about how God failed us. God is God and does all things according to His time and purpose which may be in direct contradiction to ours. So what do we do in these times? We worship Him. It doesn’t matter what happens upon the earth or how bad it gets, God is still on the throne. He is still sovereign over the affairs of men. Evil men may prevail for a time, but in the end they must answer to the Almighty.
Job 13: 15 says, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…” This must become the motto and battle cry of God’s people. We are His in life and in death. We are His in health and in sickness. We are His in prosperity and poverty. We are His in freedom and in prison. We are His in justice and injustice. In all our ways and with all of our hearts we must be His.
We see God showing up in the darkest hour in the midst of praise and worship. He shows Himself strong and sovereign even in a naturally impossible situation. Through this travail and sorrow, salvation and life are brought forth to the glory of God. We are pregnant with His life and often the bringing forth of that life comes with much travail and sorrow, but joy comes in the morning. Light triumphs over the darkness and life over death. There is no greater honor we can have than to lay down our lives for Christ’s sake. Many saints have not been rescued as Paul and Silas were this night and eventually they, also, came to a time when they gave their lives for the gospel. The martyrs are the color guard of heaven. They carry the standard of His righteousness and the banner of His love. They are His elite elect and faithful ones, because they loved not their lives even unto death.
Many of us are in dark times or will be in the near future. They may or may not be life threatening, but they won’t be easy. In these times we must enter into His rest. We must resign to the truth that our greatest victory is found not in self-effort, but through prayer, praise and worship. In Daniel 3 when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s idol they faced sure death for not complying, but this was their response, “16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” This is the abandonment of faith into the hands of God. This is something that everything in the natural cries out against, but for the ones who know their God this is the place of our peace.

Blessinsg,
#kent

Lying Vanities

August 29, 2014

Jonah 2:8
They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy.
Lying Vanities

What is a lying vanity? That is what I wanted to know as the first half of this scripture was coming up in my spirit this morning. As I pursued this phrase I found the scripture in Jonah 2:8, “They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy.” Other translations state it this way; “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” We often think of idols as those false gods of wood and stone that pagans worship, but in truth it can be anything that is not God focused and of eternal value. When we look at our lives, our ambitions and our priorities in light of this definition most of us would have to admit that there are probably a lot of lying vanities in our lives. So much of our lives are caught up in the temporal and temporary things that consume our time and energy but produce no lasting or eternal results. Lying Vanities, these are the idols that get our eyes off of our kingdom purpose and distract us from our true destiny. Their rewards are like a breath that is fleeting and quickly vanishes away. For many that lying vanity is the wealth of this world. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.” Wealth in itself is not a bad thing, but our wealth should be a God thing. When we are pursuing “getting rich quick” it is wealth received by vanity and it doesn’t last. What we obtain through our faithful labor and acknowledgement of the Lord shall be blessed. Our true increase comes from our faithful service to the Lord. When He is the center of our world and the object of our time and pleasure then He is our reward. Our lives are then about the Father’s business, rather it is in the market place or in church, He is the reason we live, we move and have our being.
As I was having a business meeting with the Father this morning, He has been speaking to me that true wealth is found in love. I had been thinking of ways of business built upon man’s basic needs, such as food, security, sex, sleep and the basic things man needs and depends upon. What I heard the Father say was, “The greatest need man has is love.” We all have the need to be loved. Love is what gives us worth and value. At the time I thought “love?” how can that be a business concept. True love is something that you give away; it is not something that you get. That is where I am wrong. True love, given away, produces a greater harvest of that which is given. True love, God’s love, is not a lying vanity, but an eternal reality. It is what humanity needs most in this life, as well as in the life to come. Only true God lovers can give forth the true love of God. God’s love is what sweeps away the lying vanities that have caused us to forsake His mercy and grace.
It is a time for a new paradigm and way of thinking. My needs are met as I seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all of these things shall be added unto me. Our mistake is that we have been putting these lying vanities in front of God’s kingdom, thus we have forsaken our own mercy and blessings. Love is the currency of the God’s kingdom, not the vanities of this world. When we deal in His currency it will affect our temporal lives, as well as our eternal lives. It is time to take these lying vanities, whatever form they take, and put them behind us, for they are considered idols to our God. It is a new day and our heart is to walk in Kingdom ways, to openly be the expression of His love as Christ is expressed through us.

Blessings,
#kent

Turn Aside

April 10, 2012

Deuteronomy 28:14
Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Turn Aside


This is a word I heard in my spirit as I was asking the Lord what to share.  “Turn aside” means to turn into, to depart, depart from away, avoid, to be removed, to come to an end, put away, depose, leave undone, retract, reject, abolish.
I was impressed by how many exhortations the Word gives us to not turn aside from God, His commandment and His ways.  He has set our feet in the path of His Word and there we are to abide and live out of that place.  Whenever we are tempted to “turn aside” we are stepping outside the will and the way of the Lord.
Deuteronomy 5:32 exhorts us, “So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.”  We can go to extremes, either way, that lead us out of the straight and narrow the Lord wants us to follow after.  We can become to liberal and we can become to legalistic.  Both have the same result in that they turn us out of “the way”.
Psalms 40: 4 tells us, “Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.”  Part of not “turning aside” is where we put our trust and confidence.  It is easy for any of us to look to the things of this world to bail us out of our problems, or to remedy our circumstance.  Do not “turn aside”  from putting your confidence and your trust in the Lord.  He is the way of life and salvation. God may use natural means to meet your needs, but that is not where you want to put your confidence and trust.  He is your God and there is none other.  Be careful not to “turn aside” from Him.
1 Samuel 12: 21 exhort us, “And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.”  There are so many things along the road of life that we can take an exit off our designated High Way to go exploring and partaking of.  Beware of these exit ramps on the road of life, for what you may think is but a short pit stop can turn into a major pit fall.
Psalm 125:5 again warns us, “But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the LORD will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!”  Crooked ways, are twisted ways, from which comes wickedness.  It is a perversion of the truth that attempts to make void the Word of God.  Crooked ways don’t allow you to see your end and they quickly lead you on the path of destruction.
Finally, I would share one more scripture from the New Testament in  2 Timothy 4:1-5, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  This where we at today and it is the Lord’s admonition that we follow with our whole hearts the council to Timothy in this scripture. Jesus said, ‘In the last days, if it were possible, even  the elect would be deceived (Matthew 24:24).”  We can see that a tremendous spirit of deception is being poured out in the earth and it is critical to us as God’s people that we don’t turn aside, no matter how good things may look or how bad things may get.  We have a path to walk and it is imperative that our foot not slip from it.  If it should then get your wits about you and repent so that you may be restored in the High Way of Righteousness.  We walk it not by ourselves, but in unity, oneness and full reliance of Christ in us.  That work He has began in us He is able to complete it till the Day of Christ (Philippians 1:6).
We hold fast our faith and confidence in the Lord only, He will strengthen and keep us so that we would not be turned aside from Him in any of our ways.  His Way is our way.

Blessings,
kent

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